A version of this blog was originally published in Breaking Ground, a quarterly publication of the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities I am a person with a disability. I survived a traumatic brain injury following a car wreck when I was 18. My disability is visible in the partial paralysis of the right side of my body which affects the […]
Diving in, Wheelchair First
Dreaming of becoming a parent chooses you. You don’t get to choose the journey. With Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and using a power wheelchair while requiring care for my basic needs, many would think being a parent wouldn’t be a dream I’d have, let alone pursue. I am a mother to a nearly 5 month-old […]
A Tale of Toilets: Happy Unbirthday to You!
The other night my husband and I took my 98-year-old grandmother out to dinner with our two young children. My son, age 4, seems to always need to use the restroom. Seriously – his record is 5 pitstops in one meal! Anyway, this was a small Mexican restaurant with a single use bathroom. We were […]
Self-Preservation and Saying “No” as a Parent
Saying “no,” is something I have learned is essential to my self-preservation. As much as I don’t like it, I’ve found that saying no can actually make me a better parent and spouse. I recently had to turn down speaking at a large conference in my field, something I’d actively lobbied for, pursued, and then […]
Breastfeeding in Public: To Cover or Not to Cover?
Recently there was a news story about a coffee shop in our city that had come under fire after a barista (who turned out to be one of the owners) offered a female patron who was breastfeeding a towel to cover up. Another woman who was with the mother wrote a scathing review on […]
It’s Okay To Think About Surrendering
I know this is a taboo subject when it comes to parenting, or any issue in the disabled world. We are supposed to be inspiring to others, overcoming “challenging feats” and all that jazz. We are supposed to smile and be grateful to be alive, no matter our circumstances. It’s hard for me to admit […]
Top 10 Strategies for Avoiding Unnecessary Shopping Trips
As a blind mom of two toddlers who also happens to have a husband with an unpredictable work schedule; I pride myself on being prepared. I don’t usually get the opportunity to go food shopping (if ever) and I can’t live my life relying on the kindness of strangers to feed my family. Since having […]
Staring: Different as a Parent?
I’ve dealt with people staring at me my entire life. Ever since I can remember, people would stare, surprised that I don’t have any legs and only have one arm. I’ve always just ignored it, or tried to ward off pesky starers by staring back, or saying something “clever.” Adults and children both stare. Most […]
Learning to Adapt
This is the first morning of school after Spring Break, and if you are a parent going through the same routine, I salute you. My son is the most wonderful experience that I will ever have, but sometimes I just want to put my power chair at full speed and drive away screaming! I am […]
Chocolate Braille Bars
Easter baskets. As parents, it’s our responsibility to fill them. I put a lot of thought into what my kids might enjoy in their baskets, even though they are both only toddlers. Truth be told, they would probably be happy with anything at this age, but mommy strives for perfection. (Clearly, I have issues.) While […]